February 13th, 2021, 6:08 p.m. local time
Approximate Temperature: 6 degrees Fahrenheit / -14 Celsius
I recall one lecture in my Materials Science class in college, the professor said, in his British accent, “Ice is a wonderful building material. It’s only problem is that it turns to slush when the temperate reaches 32 degrees Fahrenheit!”
This statement from nearly 30 years ago popped into my head as I was clearing my driveway from the latest fluffy blanketing. The temperature, yet again, was in free fall towards 0 (F) with no intention of stopping there overnight. At least there was no wind. Yes, you could likely build wonderful creations with just ice if you were guaranteed to never have to worry about melt. Maybe this will be a paradigm for the Moon?
As I was pushing my snow blower down its next lane to plough, I looked up and realized the sky was clear. And in the West was the early Crescent Moon. Our weather has been do cold and cloudy and snowy these past three+ weeks, I lost track of the Moon’s cycle! But there it was. As I had my phone in my pocket, I of course just had to attempt a few pictures. I got off a few shots with the stock iPhone camera and a few with Night before, in less than a minute, my exposed figures started to go numb. Phone back in my pocket, and the ploughing continued.
Despite the crudity of this image, it partially captured the evening’s Earthshine.
On my return trip up the lane, I looked up again and saw Rigel. Orion! I forgot about Orion! It’s still there. And this is unfortunately its prime viewing season. I am really hoping the weather in March is above freezing and I can spend some time looking again at my favorite constellation.